Your car is a little moving home. And while some people will fancy the sound of their 5litre engines and customized hood, there comes a time when we wish we could drive in a quiet car. The misery of driving in a loud car every morning to work can be unbearable. It becomes impossible to listen to your favorite morning show or music. Fortunately for you, there’s a cheaper way to sound deaden your car using some of the readily available and affordable noiseproofing materials.
In my today’s article, I’m going to show you a detailed guide on how you can use to prevent noise problem in your vehicle. It’s important to note that I will only highlight cheap methods.
What causes noise problem in a vehicle?
There are four causes of noise that I’m aware of.
In order to sound dampen the car, it’s important to identify the source of noise problem. The biggest culprit here is the engine. While today engine manufacturers have taken a step forward in designing soundproofed engines, the technology has a long way to go before silent engines hit the market.
A vehicle cooling system can also be a source of problem. Both internal fans and the engine cooling system at times can be quite noisy.
The effects of wind acting on your car can be a source of problem. While it’s impossible to get rid of the wind problem, you can ease it by replacing broken seals and aligning car doors and windows.
Reasons for Soundproofing a Car
Soundproofing your car will play a very important role in terms of safety. Take a situation where you’re driving in a noisy car and suddenly the traffic changes, would you be able to hear other motorists honking?
I guess not.
Again supposedly your car starts to break down, would you be able to figure that out in a noisy car?
I guess not.
Therefore installing noise reducing materials in your vehicle will help in reducing noise and even better improve your car’s acoustics. So you’ll find that you’ll be able to hear speakers better or communicate with your passenger without interference and incase the traffic changes, you’ll be able to hear other cars honking.
So in summary sound insulating your car does the following:
- Improves your car acoustics and reduces traffic noises
There are some features that influence the effectiveness of sound deadening materials including the installation process, the material itself and its effectiveness.
Cheap Sound Deadening Methods For DIY Soundproofing
Like I said above, the main culprit, 99% times is the engine. According to a study, engine noise accounts for over 40% of a vehicle noise. Read the study here.
So if you really want to reduce noise problem in your vehicle, you should first start with the engine. Fortunately, noise insulating the engine is one of the simplest tasks you can do. Just follow these steps I will mention below.
1. Engine noise deadening materials
Unlike home soundproofing, sound deadening your car engine is quite different. The materials for soundproofing engine should have the following properties:
- They should be able to stick
- Must be heat resistant
- The material should have aluminum coating to protect the engine against grease and oils
One of the product I’ve used before is Noico Sound Deadener (Click here to see its photos and how to use it).
The reason why I would recommend it is because:
- The roll is big enough to ensure that the vehicle engine is fully covered
- It meets all the buying guidelines
- It’s affordable. You’ll be able to save some cash while getting maximum benefits
How to sound deaden a car engine
This is a simple process. It doesn’t require any handy skills and I’m sure it’ll only take you utmost 30 minutes. You will only need to follow the following steps.
- Turn off the car engine
- Open and clean the hood
- Take measurements of the car bonnet
- Cut the mat I recommended above into size and the shape of your car hood.
- Insert the mat under the hood
- Ensure that the mat sticks under the hood
- Close the hood and turn the engine on to test it out
2. Car door noise reduction
Now that you’ve fully sound deadened the car engine, the next step would be learning how to sound dampen car door. While soundproofing the engine alone will surely give your some good results, it’s important to note that if you really need a quiet ride, noiseproofing your whole ride is the only option you’ve got.
You will require a different kind of material unlike the material used for engine soundproofing. In this case, you won’t need the aluminum mat we used above.
The material used for door noise reducing should have the following properties:
ü It should have adhesive back
ü Must be waterproof and have noise insulation properties
I still recommend Noico Sound Deadener (See photos and price here). It’s big enough to cover the four doors of your car, its affordable and highly effective. Unlike the engine, soundproofing car doors is a bit technical but still anyone without technical skills can still work it out. The whole process should take you utmost 90 minutes. Follow my guide below and you’ll be good to go.
1. Remove all door panels
2. Measure the size of each door and cut the material in equal size as the doors
3. Insert foam on all the gaps on the car door
4. Then put back the door panels and fasten them tightly
The next step now would to sound deaden the car floor.
3. Noise proofing car floor
Now that you’ve done 80% of the work in soundproofing your car, it’s now time to finish up the remaining 20%. Unlike when noiseproofing the engine and doors, in this case, you can use any material to dampen noise.
You can use Fat Mat or Kil Mat. For starters it important to know that the latter is cheaper and it’s large enough to cover for 2-3 vehicles. To install either mats, you will need to remove the existing mat in the vehicle. Then measure the size of noiseproofing mat and cut the mat you bought online into desired sizes.
Then place the insulation mat on the car floor and wait for it to dry out. Give it like 5-8 minutes and then place back the original mat into the vehicle.
You can also use Dynamat. (See photos and how to install it here). For starters, you should note that Dynamat is very stick so you should watch out when installing because it can be painful and frustrating to remove it once its stuck on you.
4. Replace Car Tyres with Quieter Ones
The amount of road noise can highly be influenced by the car tyres. The vehicle wheels are the only part of the vehicle that comes in direct contact with the road and every single vibration is transmitted into your vehicle.
Replacing the wheels can therefore significantly reduce road noise in your car. But there are several factors that you should consider before replacing the tyres. I will detailed examine each factor below.
Size of the tyre
The tyre size will determine the amount of road noise that travels into the car cabin. In my experience, I have discovered that low profile wheels are the worst. The best tyres for road noise are the ones that maximize the size of the rubber between the metal wheel and your car.
But it’s unfortunate that today people love large wheels with the think profile tyres. So this means that there’s less rubber on the wheel to shield the vehicle against road vibrations.
So I would recommend you to grab that car manual right now and check the max tyre size that can fit in your vehicle and buy that option.
Additionally, tyre width also plays an important role in reducing road noise. Wide tyres have large surface area and this means that they’ll let in more vibrations. On the other hand, thin wheels have small surface area and therefore will let in fewer vibrations. Again my advice is that you should confirm with your car manual and see the thinnest tyre and wheels that can fit on your vehicle and go for that option.
Tyre designations explained
Tyres are designed differently depending on their intended use. Tyres built for heavy loads are designed differently than for lighter loads while tyres for high speeds are different compared for low speed cars.
In my experience, I noticed that most road users often have their cars fitted with tyres either for vehicles faster or heavier than their vehicle and this tends to cause unnecessary road noise.
So in order to get the right tyre for your car, it’s important that you understand basic tyre descriptions.
Let me give you an example
You will find similar numbers on every rim and if you can read them right, then you will able to get the right one for your car.
Below is what the number mean:
215 means that the width of your tyre is 215mm. But remember that narrower ones are better if you’re considering reducing car road noise.
60 is the aspect ratio and is 60% of the tyre width. The greater the aspect ratio, the thicker the rubber that comes into contact with the ground and vice versa is true. So a tyre with a higher aspect ratio is ideal for those looking to reduce road noise in their cars.
R is Radial Construction and it’s an indicator of how the tyre was built. It means that it was built with cord plies. Most tyres you will find on the market today are designed using this technology. The value doesn’t have any major impact on road noise but I thought it worth knowing.
Number 15 is the Wheel Rim Number and it’s an indicator that the tyre was built for a 15 inch rim.
90 is the Load Index Number and it tells you the weight the tyre can support and a 90 Load Index Number means that the tyre can support up to 600KG.
T is the speed rating and with this letter, it means that the tyre can only maintain max speeds of up to 118mph.
The speed rating varies from letter Q to Y. For tyres rated Q, they can only maintain speeds of up to 99mph while the latter can maintain speeds of up to 186mph.
So it’s important to check your manual and ensure that you’ve got tyres with minimum speed ratings because most insurance companies won’t pay for claims if they discover you’re using tyres with low speed ratings.
Cheap Sound deadening material for cars
There are plenty of noises deadening materials you can find on the market today. Some of these materials can be quite expensive and their performance may be below par. That’s why I took time and researched some of the most inexpensive and effective material you can use now to soundproof your car.
a. Kilmat Sound Absorbing Mat
Kilmat is one of the effective automotive soundproofing mat. It’s high quality yet cheap. It’s only 80mm thick and ideal for reducing both internal and external noise in your vehicle. It’s available in 36sqft size and hence it’s big enough to cover your car. It’s easy to install. I found many positive reviews on Amazon and I think it’s worth checking them out. Click here to see the reviews and installation photos.
b. Noico 80mil sound absorbing mat
Want to know my truth?
At first I was skeptical to use this product after my friend recommended it. But once I got to try it, I was impressed by the results and I can confirm to you that it’s one of the best sound deadening material for your car.
I’ve used close to two years and I’m still quite satisfied by its effectiveness.
Noico is 80mm and its thick enough to shield your car from all those unwanted noises.
But the reason I would recommend Noico it is because it’s cheap and effective. Additionally, you will also benefit during cold winter days as the mat insulates your vehicle and keeps it warm.
It’s self-adhesive so you won’t need to incur any cost purchasing additional adhesive. It comes in large size so it’s more than enough to cover your entire car.
c. Siless Mat
If you’ve a big car, then this is the sound absorbing mat you should buy. It’s available in 50sqft. The only con with Siless noise deadening mat is that it’s only 50mm which is 30mm than the ones reviewed above but still does a good job in reducing noise compared to its price tag.
d. Fatmat Self-Adhesive
If I could talk of a brand that’s been in the market for years, Fatmat would be the first in my list. It’s a brand that has established which has garnered positive reviews from users of its products across the world.
Fatmat Self-Adhesive is only 80mil thick just like some of the mats I reviewed above. But what makes it stand out is the fact that it comes with a roller which makes the installation process easier. Instead of using your hands to install, the roller will do that for you. The only problem with fatmat is only that it’s available in 25sqft size but you can always buy a bigger size.